EU should speak with one voice on Karabakh at UN level
European Friends of Armenia has issued a call upon the EU to continue its support for the OSCE Minsk Group peace negotiations amid a new UN initiative on a Nagorno-Karabakh resolution recently launched by Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani draft resolution to be discussed at the UN General Assembly on Thursday 9 September is expected to be voted against by the three Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group, France, Russia and the USA. But according to EuFoA’s sources, a common response by all EU countries is not yet clear, despite the longstanding and clear EU support for the Minsk Group.
- It is yet another Azerbaijani attempt to bring this conflict to a different forum, one where Azerbaijan believes to have more support, especially from friendly Islamic countries. But this ethnic conflict has never had a religious basis and neither Islamic countries nor anyone else interested in peace should now add such a religious component.
- The Minsk Group Co-Chairs have stated that the steps to a peaceful resolution of the conflict are so clear and the negotiations are so advanced that they could be concluded very quickly, if there was more good-will. Being so close to the goal, a change of the forum could derail the whole process.
- The resolution text singles out the Azerbaijani views, especially regarding the principle of territorial integrity. However, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have made it clear in their Almaty statement of 17 July 2010 that ALL the proposed principles of a peaceful solution of the conflict “have been conceived as an integrated whole and any attempts to select some elements over others would make it impossible to achieve a balanced solution”. In other words, the UN draft would have to be entirely re-written or simply rejected to avoid any jeopardy of the OSCE Minsk Group negotiations.
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